HOLDN is hitting the scene hard in 2017 and we talked with her to get the scoop on who she is and what she stands for. Read the full interview below!
Shannon Rae: Why the alter ego HOLDN? What is the meaning behind it?
HOLDN: In high school, JD Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ was one of our required reading books in English class. To be completely honest, I wasn’t very good at school and I never read any of the books we were supposed to read. I couldn’t get into them. Catcher in the Rye was different. For anyone not familiar with the book, the main character, Holden, was a sarcastic, different, kid that no one in the story could really relate to. Ironically enough, I noticed as I read the book that I found my classmates relating to Holden more than any other character. It’s easy to ‘relate’ to someone when it’s convenient and you don’t have the burden of being there for them through their struggle. The name ‘HOLDN’ came from the idea that I am relatable enough through my words and my music, yet people are only there with me by my side when it’s convenient and easy.
SR: How would you describe your sound in four words?
H: Dark, industrial, eerie, pop
SR: What is the first song you remember listening to that lead you to want to make music yourself?
H: That’s actually a really good question. I grew up on Springsteen, Zeppelin, and The Beatles. They all inspired me to learn how to play guitar and sing, but to really get into writing music myself, Sara Bareilles has always been my biggest inspiration. She’s raw and honest and those are some of the key traits in my music that I strive to showcase.
SR: Talk to us a bit about your single “Burn”, what is the story behind the lyrics?
H: “Burn” was a long time coming. It always found its way back to me over the course of the last two years. The lyrics are about my first real experience with something/someone walking out my life without warning but staying close enough to watch me struggle to find the strength to stand back up. It’s a pretty dark song, but it is as brutally honest as I have ever been.
SR: Is this the tone being set for your future releases?
H: Absolutely! I wanted my first release to be the most accurate representation of HOLDN. I’m always writing and experimenting with different styles. I love blues and r&b, so you’ll definitely hear those influences in my music over time, but overall “Burn” is definitely setting the tone.
SR: As an artist, what is your message? What will you personally stand for?
H: I want to be one of many artists who provide a safe place for their fans to come and be themselves unapologetically. It’s something I've struggled with my whole life. I’m either too much or too little or too weird or too formulated. Instead of overthinking all of those things, writing music as HOLDN has created a safe place for me to meet myself in the middle. I’ve found a common ground that allows me to drop down and reassemble my walls as needed and I want my music, my shows, and my interactions with listeners and fans to be just that: a safe space.
SR: You’re prepping a new project to be revealed the 25th of this month, what has the experience of this process been like?
H: It has been a long roller coaster ride. I’ve written up ideas for this and scrapped them more times than I’d like to admit. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my art which is probably one of the hardest things to be as an artist because I will always find something wrong with what I do. There’s a Martha Graham quote that reads, “No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” which will always be one of my favorite quotes of all time. I am genuinely excited and proud of what I have created and am presenting to you all, but I will never stop creating. It’s a never ending journey that I am openly sharing with the world. Going to always keep the channel open.
SR: Is there anything else about this upcoming year that you can share with us? Any shows or festival slots?
H:Right now, everything else is under wraps and still in the works, but you can expect more music, more shows, more everything this summer. 2017 is going to be a very exciting year for me and I'm glad I get to share it with all of you!